The leading ploughmen from across Europe will travel to the village of Ballykelly, in County Londonderry, next month to take part in the European Ploughing Championships.
Hosted by the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association, the event will see experienced contenders from France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, England, Wales, Isle Of Man, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland demonstrating their skills in reversible ploughing and vintage ploughing, among others.
Taking place at Shakelton Barracks airfield in Ballykelly on September 2-3, the event is set to be a family-friendly fun-packed event with trade stands, horse ploughing exhibitions, children’s entertainment, craft stalls and a vintage display among other attractions.
The Northern Ireland Ploughing Association is the governing body of competition ploughing across Northern Ireland uniting 21 affiliated ploughing societies across the country with approximately 500 members.
These affiliated societies run ploughing matches across the country each year for ploughmen to qualify for the opportunity to compete in the International Championships. The top ploughmen at this event qualify to represent Northern Ireland at the World, European Reversible and European Vintage Ploughing Championships.
Adrian Jamison, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association said: “We are delighted to be bringing the European Ploughing Championships back to Northern Ireland and to be able to welcome our fellow ploughmen from across Europe to Ballykelly.
“Competitions like these are the perfect place for people within the farming community to congregate and meet as well as people in the local areas who are just interested in finding out a bit more about the agricultural traditions here in Northern Ireland.”
This year over 100 competitors are set to compete in seven different categories: World Style Reversible, World Style Conventional, Vintage Class, Horse Class and Horse Style & Appearance Class.
Also attending the event will be the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster with their fencing and soil assessment competitions as well as a range of entertainment traders from bouncy castles and slides to a rodeo bull.
The Northern Ireland Ploughing Association’s key mission is to bridge the gap between the older generation and the younger.
Adrian explained that hosting events like the European Ploughing Championships help to “encourage the older generation to hand down vital skills, whilst on the other hand, giving stimulus to the younger generation to engage more with the older members of their communities.”
The European Ploughing Championships take place at Shakleton Barracks in Ballykelly, Co Derry/Londonderry, on Friday and Saturday, September 2-3, 2022. More information can be found at niploughing.com or at facebook.com/niploughing